Call me a socialist or communist if you wish, but I believe capitalism needs oversight and to be restrained or perhaps tempered with a sense of decency and common sense. The free market alone cannot solve all a nation's problems and will only eventually lead to serfdom for the majority without oversight.
It was President Herbert C. Hoover of all people, himself a business man of no slight repute, who well noted that
You know, the only trouble with capitalism is capitalists; they're too damn greedy.
Yep, the animal inclination towards utter selfishness proves our undoing time after time in life.
And please don't think that because I like this quote I am with Archie Bunker in thinking that "mister, we could use a man like Herbert Hoover again."
I do, however think that Hoover gets unfairly piled upon by historians and those, like my parents, who actually lived through the Great Depression. To be sure, his ideology and temperament left him at the mercy of the forces he was up against at the time. His voluntarism, although seemingly still popular today among his political heirs, proved completely incapable of solving the crisis.
When I was in my late teens I took the trouble of going to the public library and checking out his massive memoirs. I wanted to see how one human, a president of this great nation, no less, could be as cold and heartless as my parents portrayed him.
After wading through his huge defense of his presidency, I was convinced the man didn't have a heart of stone. Like most of us he was probably too stubborn and self-assured for his own good, but he showed a real intelligence about the matter of the depression.
I think Hoover did eventually take some radical steps for a conservative such as he was. And had he won reelection, I bet he would taken more. The truth is probably closer to the fact that the United States had changed dramatically during the decades of the industrial revolution. The do-nothing administrations of Harding and Coolidge sought to put the progressive genii back into his bottle. Hoover recognized that wasn't an option. He wasn't ready and probably not idealistically able to move as far in the direction as his successor did. So he went down in defeat and into history as the president who could not cope with the Great Depression.
But back to my original point, it was the blatant avarice of the capitalists who did the most to undo the economic soundness of our country both back then and in our day. And that because they are just too damned greedy and shortsighted. And because conservatives bow to them and refuse to place safeguards into the game.